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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Óláfsdrápa — Hfr ÓldrI

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 387.

 

Svá frák hitt, at hôva
hǫrgbrjótr í stað mǫrgum
(opt kom hrafn at heipta)
hlóð valkǫstu (blóði).
Endr lét Jamta kindir
allvaldr í styr falla
(vanðisk hann) ok Vinða
végrimmr (á þat snimma).
 
‘Thus I have learned this, that the shrine-destroyer piled up high corpse-heaps in many a place; the raven often came to the blood of strife. The mighty ruler, fierce against heathen temples, formerly caused the kin of the Jamtr and Wends to fall in the mêlée; he became accustomed to that early.
Hættr vas hersa dróttinn
hjǫrdjarfr Gota fjǫrvi;
gollskerði frák gerðu
geirþey á Skáneyju.
Bǫðserkjar hjó birki
barklaust í Danmǫrku
hleypimeiðr fyr Heiða-
hlunnviggja -bý sunnan.
 
‘The sword-bold lord of hersar [RULER] was dangerous to the life of the Gotar; I have learned that the gold-diminisher [GENEROUS MAN] made spear-breeze [BATTLE] in Skåne. The impelling tree of the roller-steeds [SHIPS > SEAFARER] cut down the barkless birches of the battle-shirt [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS] in Denmark south of Hedeby.
Tíðhǫggvit lét tyggi
Tryggva sonr fyr styggvan
Leiknar hest á lesti
ljótvaxinn hræ Saxa.
Vinhróðigr gaf víða
vísi margra Frísa
blǫkku brúnt at drekka
blóð kveldriðu stóði.
 
‘The ruler, Tryggvi’s son [= Óláfr Tryggvason], had the corpses of Saxons cut down often, finally, before the edgy, ugly-grown horse of Leikn <troll-woman> [WOLF]. Far and wide the friend-exulting prince gave the black stud of the evening-rider [TROLL-WOMAN > WOLF] the dark blood of many Frisians to drink.
Hilmir lét at Holmi
hræskóð roðin blóði
— hvat of dylði þess hǫlðar? —
hǫrð ok austr í Gǫrðum.
Rógs brá rekka lægir
ríkr Valkera líki;
herstefnir lét hrǫfnum
hold Flæmingja goldit.
 
‘The prince caused hard corpse-harmers [SWORDS] to be reddened in blood at Hólmr and east in Russia; why should men conceal that? The powerful subduer of the strife of men [JUST RULER] spoiled the bodies of the Valkerar; the army-commander [RULER] caused the flesh of the Flemings to be doled out to ravens.
Gerðisk ungr við Engla
ofvægr konungr bægja;
naddskúrar réð nœrir
Norðimbra sá morði.
Barði brezkrar jarðar
byggvendr, en hjó tyggi
— grôðr þvarr geira hríðar
gjóði — kumrskar þjóðir.
 
‘The young, overwhelming king proceeded to contend against the English; that nourisher of the missile-shower [BATTLE > WARRIOR] determined the killing of the Northumbrians. The prince beat the inhabitants of the British land and cut down the Cumbric peoples; hunger diminished for the osprey of the storm of spears [BATTLE > RAVEN/EAGLE].
Gerði seims (með sverði)
sverðleik í Mǫn skerðir
(eyddi ulfa greddir
ógnblíðr Skotum víða).
Ýdrógar lét œgir
eyverskan her deyja
— Týr vas tjǫrva dýrra
tírargjarn — ok Íra.
 
‘The diminisher of gold [GENEROUS MAN] made sword-sport [BATTLE] in Man; the battle-glad feeder of wolves [WARRIOR] destroyed the Scots widely with the sword. The terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR] caused the army from the Isles and the Irish to die; the Týr <god> of precious spears [WARRIOR] was eager for glory.
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